Page last updated at 13:39 GMT, Friday, 14 August 2009 14:39 UK

Eighth swine flu death in region

Another person has died in the west Midlands after contracting swine flu, the NHS has said.

It is the eighth death in the region in which the person has tested positively for the virus.

The adult died between 6 and 12 August, the region's public health body, NHS West Midlands, said.

The number of people reporting flu or flu-like illnesses to their GP fell from around 73 per 100,000 people at the start of August to 45 last week.

Dr Rashmi Shukla, regional director for public health at NHS West Midlands, said: "All our surveillance data on the outbreak of swine flu suggests that the number of cases in the West Midlands is falling.

"This doesn't mean that we can be complacent. I would urge the public to remain vigilant to the symptoms of swine flu and to adhere to good respiratory and hand hygiene practice."

Antiviral drugs

The National Flu Pandemic Service has assessed more than 86,000 people in the region since it launched last month.

More than 40,000 people have picked up antiviral drugs from one of the 67 collection points in the West Midlands since 23 July.

The number of new patients admitted to hospital with swine flu this week was 83.

The region's health chiefs are now preparing for the second wave of the outbreak, which is expected in the autumn.

Dr Shukla said: "We wish to take this opportunity to remind the public that for most people this is not a serious illness and that they should start to fell better after a few days without needing to go to their GP or A&E (department)."



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